years back i'd read about pienza while i was in italy. it sounded too beautiful for words so on our drive from rome to florence we took a very small detour to see what all the fuss was about. that was all it took, just a small taste, a quiet afternoon, and i knew i must come back and spend time in this magical place.
fast forward and years later. pienza, i feel like i could live here and never look back.
stay: stunningly gorgeous la bandita townhouse. a 15th century former convent transformed into a warm and light-filled space. with only 12 rooms this boutique hotel leaves you feeling as if you're staying at a friend's house which is exactly how owner john voightmann and his wife ondine want you to feel.
eat: la bandita townhouse caffe, using only the freshest of the fresh local ingredients, makes it a bit difficult to leave the hotel as the meals were as gorgeous as the grounds. that being said there are wonderful little mom and pop places hidden in the nooks and crannies around pienza serving among other things, the most incredible salami and pecorino cheese which the area is famous for. as well, at some point or another during the afternoon or evening, and sometimes twice, we found ourselves at gelateria toscana. i've since found out that it wasn't quite the secret spot we'd thought we had discovered as people come from far and wide just to have a cone of pure decadence. my personal favorite was the cocco!
see: besides the views, the duomo of pienza. mouth dropping and awe inspiring. this cathedral is also known as the "temple of glass" due to the extraordinary light streaming in though its expansive windows.
the only thing i have to add to this love letter to pienza is that if you have the opportunity..... go, just go.